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Dive Review of Juliet in
The Continental USA/Florida Keys

Juliet: "Schooner “Juliet” The Good, the Bad and the Miscommunication", Sep, 2015,

by NEAL LANGERMAN, CA, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 11 reports with 13 Helpful votes). Report 8503 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 2 stars Food 2 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments The Juliet is a steel-hulled schooner providing live-aboard diving along the Keys, Bahama, and nearby waters. Juliet is designed for 12 divers and a crew of (at least) 5. We enjoyed an interesting trip from a Saturday boarding to the following Friday departure. The diving was from near Miami to Key West and back. The sleeping accommodations were comfortable and air conditioned. The galley was small and could not comfortably accommodate all of the divers for a meal. Because of the lack of air conditioning in the galley, most guests ate at a table on the deck. The dive gear set-up was very good. Each diver had an assigned location with a deep cubby for small gear and a rack that securely held your tank. High pressure whips delivered air or Nitrox to each tank which was very efficient. Nitrox fills were in the 29 – 32% range. Entries were a giant stride from the main deck. Exit after the dive was on a well-designed stair-ladder. The only difficulty was removing your own fins, or, if a member of the “senior” generation, also removing your tank so you could climb up the stairs. The crew was quite helpful with this for one diver who the effort was not realistic. For all of the basic stuff you expect and need on a live-aboard, the Juliet earned high marks.

All cabins were below the main deck. Cabin access was either through the wheel house or down a standard ship hatchway. All ladders were quite vertical, which made moving gear up or down difficult. Using a buddy system, it was reasonable for one person to be at the bottom of a hatchway and the other at the top and create an efficient gear transfer pathway.

My wife and I each dive with large, professional quality camera gear. The Juliet was certainly not equipped to handle our needs. Our cameras, which we had assembled prior to boarding, could only be worked on at the deck table used for meals and socializing. Batteries could only be charged in our cabin. Our pelican cases, needed for housing maintenance and lens changes were stored on the open deck and it was difficult to find locations that did not interfere with other divers.

The Juliet did not have an established procedure for lowering or retrieving big cameras. Our housings have shackles for attaching a line for just this purpose and I carry an 8 meter line with a sturdy clip which the crew used. After we entered the water they would lower our cameras and leave the line in the water. At the end of the dive, we would clip the housing on the line and they would raise it to the deck. The crew exercised care to prevent the housings from slamming against the hull. The system worked, but I was disappointed that Juliet did not have this worked out in advance, as I had specifically asked the sales agent – Kat – if they were set-up to handle large camera gear.

It was hot and humid off of the Keys in September. The only comfortable place on the Juliet was in your cabin. This made the usual activity between dives uncomfortable or difficult.
My wife and I are vegan. We specifically asked Kat if the galley would provide us with vegan meals. We were assured this was a routine request. The crew member running the galley was totally and completely unfamiliar with a vegan diet. Early in the trip, I opted to make do with whatever was served and probably fared better than my wife who helped the galley create acceptable meals. With some coaching from my wife (using butter in oatmeal does not make “vegan oatmeal”), the galley did provide a more varied vegan diet over the course of the trip. As I had specifically asked the sales agent – Kat – if they were OK with a vegan diet and she assured me that we would be very happy. This was a real disappointment.

The guest manifest was a group of 10 divers from North Carolina who were seriously involved with technical diving. We were supposed to be told – by Kat - that we were joining a tech diving crowd; we were not. Fortunately, my big concern, that the tech divers would do long decompression dives which would cut into the diving schedule did not pan out. In fact, since we were frequently the last in the water, most of the tech divers were back onboard by the time we returned. It would have been nice if Kat had done her job, but all was well in the end.

I would dive the Juliet again, but I would configure my camera support equipment a bit differently. I think diving its Bahamas or Cuba itineraries would be very interesting. The crew was superb. Even being one person short-handed, they made certain all of your needs were met. The one thing I would not do is to believe a single word uttered by Kat. Safe diving and keep your bubbles tiny.

Websites Juliet   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving All of continental USA; Caribbean, Gulf, Sea of Cortez, Eastern & Western Pacific & more
Closest Airport Miami Getting There Easy access from Miami International; short cab ride

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 29-32°C / 84-90°F Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 10-20 M / 33-66 Ft

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions None - you were on your own, Decompression diving was allowed
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 2 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments See comments below; with big cameras, be prepared to secure your rig in the galley with your own bungies. Batteries will need to be charged in your cabin; bring lots of power strips. Bring a method for lowering, retrieving your rig, the 1.6 meter entry is NOT conducive to handling large rigs. Small rigs, GO PROs, will not be a problem.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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